If there’s a term for writer’s block in which one feels internally compelled (but not forced) to write, yet has no immediate topic or subject or motive to write about, then I currently embody that term.
Since I published Non-Punctual Self-Assessment, I’ve felt the need to get things off my chest through writing. Some ideas have been roughly hashed out both in my mind and in a draft form somewhere, but none have had either the full effort of clear thought to “put pen to paper”, or a true inspiration to flesh out some of the more established ideas. This leaves me in a rather odd predicament; one I’ve felt before but have never known how to deal with.
Others may identify with how I’m feeling. It starts with a slow leak of combustible gases through the ventilation ducts, seeping into an enclosed room. Slowly these gases build with no where to escape, no draft way to allow a controlled bleeding of elements. As pressure starts accumulating in the space, the room, as if it had a sense of feeling, becomes aware of the need for its contents to be released. It wants its door opened to allow the elements it’s holding to burst forth. Or, short of that, at least a self-immolation started by a sudden and mysterious spark from its innards, sending forth an implosion of light and fire.
But it never comes. Eventually, the pressure builds so severely that it forces its way out by making for itself a crack in the corner of the room, or by blowing out the years of grime in the keyhole and escaping through the minutest of crevices. Slowly the pressure dissipates to a more comfortable level, the outward ventilation equaling the incoming pressure. But it never goes away; the source never turns off. The flow continues, only being mitigated in the slightest relief.
This sensation ebbs and flows. At times it’s so great that it almost convinces you of realization, almost divinely moving your fingers to type or your hand to grasp the pen. At others it’s just a tension, ever present, ever there.
What’s needed is an inception; the origin of an idea that is just enough to carry those gases and make them ignite. Like the filament of a light bulb illuminating; and, with that finite event, sets loose the flow of creativity. The filament, in a split second, inflaming a roomful with illumination via a chain reaction of gaseous particles catching alight and burning exponentially hotter and brighter. The walls literally breathing with the zest, the utter exertion of power, the primal spirit of creativity as it is unleashed. The zealous fortitude exuding from the space, knocking down anything that’s not buried in bed rock or riveted to the foundation. The potential-turned-kinetic manifesting itself in a dizzying array of color, form, texture, vibrancy, ambiance, emotion, and a hundred other things as they all take their places on the pages, on the screen, on the whiteness that is the canvas for a writer.
At those times of ebbing and gentle flowing, I yearn for that fire inside to be kindled and set free. In whatever form, I don’t care. The inner tension and angst suffers me. The realization of the probability of not actively living up to the potential I have becomes present during those times, and it takes my whole being to prevent it from overtaking me fully.
It’s this weird limbo state of existence that I feel now. And it’s this very piece of creativity that is the keyhole for the gases to exhaust. My soul is left with no other choice but to apathetically… no, contently reside and allow nature to take its course, knowing that at some future point the catalyst will swing and mingle on a sub-atomic level with the eagerness that is my desire to create.
I know what characters like King David or Saul of Tarsus or the Messiah himself felt like when they yearned after God’s heart, eager to serve, eager to have their potential released upon the world, wanting God to be their catalyst. Perhaps He will be mine as well.